While the NFT market is in decline, crypto art players continue to believe in it and refuse the creative possibilities.
Between the drop in cryptocurrency prices, the drop in sales volume from platforms like OpenSea (which have lost more than 90% from their highs a few months ago), and the myriad of thefts, scams, all such as payment defaults on secure lending by NFTs or selling at a loss, owning NFTs is not good these days. Not surprisingly, in any financial market, what goes up must come down. We are in a declining market after the speculative bubble of 2021. The market has slowed down, but also less unstable, allowing artists and collectors to adjust their expectations in terms of price, sales speed and resale.
But the artists, collectors and project starters who believe in technology and community are still there. The first are enthusiastic about trying out new digital tools. The so-called collectors diamond hands (willingness to take high risks for volatile investments, editor’s note) still support artists (unlike paper hands in crypto-financial jargon). Finally, as Jason Bailey, founder of ClubNFT and Right Click Save recently noted, the most interesting NFT projects (CryptoPunks in 2017, SupeRare & KnownOrigin in 2019) were launched as cryptocurrencies’ values fell, time conducive to innovation and creation. in the absence of constant pressure from the markets and speculators.
Another interesting phenomenon to note is the maturation of the NFT market through its segmentation. The major annual NFT.NYC conference, the last edition of which took place in New York in June 2022, is proof of that. For the first time, the different uses of NFTs were clearly defined and physically separated: one space for gaming, another for art and a third for music. The hundreds of side events were even more revealing: more artistic events than parties bling bling. Note for references an exhibition at the Alliance française, organized with the help of the New French Touch (a company promoting the French NFT scene, editor’s note), another at the Pace Gallery, in collaboration with Art Blocks, or the crypto artist community gathering dada.art around a surreal celebration.
We are also starting to see the adoption of the NFT format through the traditional art market. More and more established artists are getting into NFTs. Marina Abramović launched on July 25 on the blockchain Tezos his first NFT, the hero, a remake of one of his autobiographical videos. Frank Stella launched his first series of NFTs, geometrieswith Artists Rights Society on September 8, and MetaKovan, owner of Beeple’s work sold at Christie’s, commissioned a virtual reality work by Olafur Eliasson titled your opinion matters, linked to a series of NFTs. Likewise, galleries are starting to represent crypto artists. We can mention the artist Sarah Meyohas, who launched the conceptual project Bitchcoin (2015), and is now represented by the New York gallery Marianne Boesky. Finally, the partnerships between crypto actors and those of the art market are multiplying, such as those between Pace and the generative art platform Art Blocks, the collaboration between the blockchain creative Tezos and the Art Basel scholarship or even the merger of the Sotheby’s Institute of Art and Right Click Save for Education.
In addition to the expectation of new announcements of strategic partnerships, the fall will undoubtedly be colorful. Several trends need to be looked at, starting with “The Ethereum Merge”, announced for September 15, the passage of the blockchain Ethereum has a new type of operation that is more environmentally friendly called “Proof of Stake”. Aside from the technical challenge, preferences need to be confirmed, such as photography or generative art. We should keep an eye on poetry, for which the collective TheVerseVerse presents collaborations between poets, visual artists and artificial intelligence. Or the evolutionary architecture of the metaverse launched by Krista Kim and her Mars house last year, and which continues with the solid generative buildings of 0xfar or The Meeting Place, a joint virtual cultural space conceived by Benny Ohr and French artist Cyril Lancelin in the Spatial.io metaverse. Actor Anthony Hopkins also launched his series of NFTs, saying: “NFTs are a blank page for artistic creation”. Everything must be done.